End “apartheid,” ensure “one person, one vote” in Palestine says brief from influential EU think tank

An influential EU-funded think tank has published a commentary urging the European Union to rethink its policies towards Palestine and the Israelis to end “apartheid” and suggests a one-state solution.

In a 7 January policy brief on regional challenges facing the 27-nation bloc, Steven Blockmans, Head of the EU Foreign Policy research programme at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) wrote:

In 2013, the EU and the other members of the Quartet will have to do some serious soul searching about what an alternative policy should be to address such prickly questions as how to ensure safety for all, ‘one person, one vote’, and how to end the current state of apartheid.

The document notes that the “views expressed are attributable only to the author in a personal capacity and not to any institution with which he is associated,” but Blockmans’ suggestion may attract attention because CEPS is closely tied to the EU establishment and is often commissioned to provide research for EU institutions.

With about a third of its budget flowing from such EU contracts, the CEPS board of directors is chaired by a former Dutch finance minister, includes former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton, and is a who’s who of former EU officials and captains of industry and finance capital.

Blockmans’ advice assumes perhaps rather too optimistically that the EU is capable of formulating a policy toward Palestine independent of the United States and the Israelis.

Historically, the EU, including its current foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, has not only failed to challenge Israeli apartheid, occupation, settlement construction and other war crimes, or to advance just and equitable remedies based in universal principles of human rights, but is actively complicit in Israel’s violations, as my colleague David Cronin has ably documented for years.

Still, Blockmans’ willingness to stick his head above the parapet, even of such a conservative and establishment bastion as CEPS, suggests that the illusion that there is a “two-state solution” or a “peace process” leading towards it is getting harder to maintain even in the normally reality-proof bunkers of Brussels.

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No more killing schoolboys for throwing stones as in Budrus today. A horrible crime, which the EU will probably fail to react to, as it has failed to react to the murder of 5 young Palestinians in Gaza since the cease-fire - Israeli style - was announced.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.